Friday, October 14, 2011

Video Bill Passed

The Video Surveillance Bill is law. It was passed on October 6th, 2011.

The Bill makes it explicitly lawful for government agencies to use covert video surveillance under a warrant for private property. In plain language, it legalises police breaking the law and planting secret surveillance cameras inside peoples' homes.

The bill has retrospective effect, ensuring that all video footage can be used as evidence and that previous convictions that relied on video evidence are not open to appeal.

Another law, the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act, was updated in April. It allows private security to install video cameras to assist their work, however they are still unable to legally record in a private residence but that allows, for now, video surveillance and records made in all other areas.

This is in contrast to Germany which bans companies from spying on employees, and they are even banned from checking out employees on Facebook and other social networking sites.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Urgent Action Alert – Stop the Video Camera Surveillance Bill!

It is only days now until Parliament votes on the law that would legalise covert video surveillance by Police, Fisheries, SIS and Customs. This bill must be stopped! It is the most serious assault on our fundamental freedom and rights in our lifetime. As it stands, no warrant is even required to conduct video surveillance.

We are asking everyone to take two minutes to email members of Parliament who have not decided which way to vote and tell them to vote ‘NO’ on the bill. It is likely to be voted on this Thursday (October 6). At present, the National party does not have the numbers to pass the bill. It only has the support of United Future. It needs 3 more votes – so we want to make sure that neither the Labour Party nor the ACT party support this dangerous bill from becoming  law. The Green, Maori and Mana parties do not support the bill at all.

Please email any member of parliament you like. We would certainly encourage in particular emails to:

ACT party
Rodney Hide – rodney.hide@parliament.govt.nz
John Boscawen – john.boscawen@parliament.govt.nz
Roger Douglas – roger.douglas@parliament.govt.nz
Hilary Calvert – hilary.calvert@parliament.govt.nz
Heather Roy – heather.roy@parliament.govt.nz

LABOUR
Phil Goff – phil.goff@parliament.govt.nz
Annette King – annette.king@parliament.govt.nz
David Parker – david.parker@parliament.govt.nz
Charles Chauvel – charles.chauvel@parliament.govt.nz
Grant Robertson – grant.robertson@parliament.govt.nz
David Cunliffe – david.cunliffe@parliament.govt.nz
Ruth Dyson – ruth.dyson@parliament.govt.nz
Clayton Cosgrove – clayton.cosgrove@parliament.govt.nz
Maryan Street – maryan.street@parliament.govt.nz
Trevor Mallard – trevor.mallard@parliament.govt.nz

The most important thing to say is:
‘VOTE NO ON THE VIDEO SURVEILLANCE BILL’.

Other things you can say are:
  • It is an assault on the rule of law as it retrospectively legalises illegal police actions
  • It is an assault on the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure
  • It is an assault on the right to privacy
  • You don’t want any expansion of the power of the state to surveil people
The police and government have been misleading the public by saying that the bill will ‘restore the common law position’ - the police have never had the power to do trespassory video surveillance. The police knowingly broke the law and should be prosecuted.

The ONLY submission received in support of this law was from Police. All other submissions – including the Law Society, Criminal Bar, civil society organisations and hundred of individuals all opposed this bill.

Monday, September 26, 2011

March Against the Police State

From: The Campaign to Stop the Search and Surveillance Bill
 
'There will be an urgent protest march on Saturday, October 1st at 2pm
starting from Cuba Mall stage to oppose the government's plan to
retrospectively legalise illegal video surveillance by the police,' said
Batch Hales, member of the Campaign to Stop the Search and Surveillance
Bill.
  
'The State is set to legalise unlawful video surveillance by police to
cover cases already before the criminal courts.  In doing so, they are
validating illegal conduct deliberately engaged in by the police. They
plan to pass this law under urgency within the next week. This is an
outrage. People across the country are deeply concerned about this issue.
We must stop this further fundamental assault on our freedoms and roll
back the expanded police state.'
  
'Most people will have heard that John Key wants to legalise police
breaking the law and planting secret surveillance cameras inside people´s
homes so that it applies retrospectively - eg. to cases that have already
been investigated and are now being prosecuted. That is, quite simply,
contrary to fundamental constitutional principle and a serious violation
of individual human rights. It is the police who should be prosecuted.'
  
'As importantly is the revelation that the police are breaking the law ALL
THE TIME. This use of secret video surveillance is in widespread use by
police without any legal authority. The police break the law, and then
they hope that the court system will allow it under the Evidence Act.
Along with this urgent bill, the Search and Surveillance Bill needs to be
thrown out.'
  
'The expansion of State surveillance is fundamentally about controlling
the population. It comes at a time of high unemployment, when the entire
benefit  system is being gutted and public services privatised.
Surveillance by the State is about controlling the growing poor and
underclass in our society who have nothing to lose, because they have
nothing. They are being squeezed at every point: the State is seeking to
repress any resistance to the greed of the rich and powerful who have been
busy taking corporate welfare, and stealing resources and land.'
  
'We must resist the police state in all its forms - all the mechanics of
control and compliance that require we sacrifice freedom for manufactured
lies and fear about `criminals´.' concluded Batch.
 
 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

SIS Bill Passed

A sad day, on 5 July the SIS Bill became law. It was passed on a vote of 107-10 votes. Unchanged despite calls from groups such as the NZ Human Rights Commission to amend it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Submissions Against the Bill due Friday 18 Feb

OASIS information stall about the SIS
Thursday, 17 Feb at 12:00 on Lambton Quay

As submissions against the SIS Amendment Bill close Friday, 18 February, OASIS will be helping out the day before by having a SIS information desk on Lambton Quay. We will set up a table, wearing our best black suits, and sign people up to request their SIS files, to make submissions, and in general discuss surveillance and state security in this society.

If you are free to give asistance, please meet outside the Westpac Bank, upper Lambton Quay, on Thursday lunchtime (12pm). 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

OASIS - Submissions Against SIS Amendment Bill

Submission on the Security Intelligence Amendment Bill close Friday, 18 February.

Normally submissions to select committees are heard in public, but because this Bill will be heard before the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), chaired by John Key, submissions will be be heard in secrecy. So if you do a submission, demand to be heard in public.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wellington Public Meeting

SIS Amendments - “We Do Not Need to Know.”

Keith Locke, Helen Kelly and Nicky Hager will be joining forces in Wellington on Tuesday, 1st February, to discuss the expanded powers of the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) that will be rushed through Parliament in the coming month.

John Key introduced the SIS Amendment Bill in the House just before Parliament broke up for summer. Submissions close on 18th February.

“It gives little time for public discussion, but that's what Key prefers,” said Anna Cocker from OASIS, the group organising the meeting. “Key wants secrecy about this Bill. He does not want public scrutiny of it.”

Monday, January 17, 2011

The SIS spies on 6700 people

There was much controversy in 2009 when the NZ Security Intelligence Service (SIS) released several personal files of political activists who have been around for decades. It revealed that Green Party MP Keith Locke had and open SIS file until 2006. He was elected to parliament in 1999 and was spied on since he was a young boy delivering Communist Party newspapers in Christchurch.

In June 2010, Prime Minister John Key released a follow-up report from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Mr Neazor, about personal files and other records held by the SIS. Key ordered a review last year on files kept on MPs and about collecting, retaining and destroying personal records. It comes as no surprise that Neazor “is satisfied with current and proposed practices.”